Book Club



Proceed to the Route

On a recent trip to Nashville, I got lost while driving back to my hotel. I missed a turn and rather than recalculating a new route, the GPS simply said “proceed to the route”. I tried to correct my mistake, but failed. For nearly 20 minutes I tried and failed, all the while hearing the GPS tell me to proceed to the route.

Finally, I pulled over to think. (If you’re going to have an epiphany, the parking lot of the YMCA in Nashville is as good a place as any, I guess.)

I knew where I was (the YMCA), I knew where I had to go (Rosa L. Parks Blvd) and I had the tools I needed to get there (a GPS). So why wasn’t it working?

The problem was with me; or rather, with my lack of knowledge of Nashville roads and experience navigating them. I got out of the car, surveyed the streets and discovered another route to Rosa L. Parks Blvd. This time, the way was clear and when I turned onto 10th Cir N, Google Maps recalculated directions.

Whether we’re driving a car or building a writing career, knowing where we need to go and getting there can be two very different things. It’s ok to stop, re-evaluate what we’re doing, and plot a new course. Once we do, we can proceed to the route.

Valerie Francis

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Well, you’re not going to believe this. Reece Witherspoon and I picked the same book for our February book clubs. Sort of.  Late last year, I came across THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE by Marie Benedict and was fascinated by the premise. Benedict writes historical fiction, much like Philippa Gregory,

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Valerie Francis

A Girl Named Howard

This month, rather than recommend one book to read, I’m recommending the entire body of work of one author because Anne Rice, who passed away December 11, 2021, single-handedly revolutionized the role of vampires in literature.  Yes, vampires.  And the impact she’s had is more significant than you might realize.

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Valerie Francis

The Christmas Bookshop

If you’ve had it up to your eyes with holiday preparations and are looking for a light-hearted story to escape into, The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan, might be just the ticket. The title is a bit misleading, in my opinion. Yes, there’s a bookstore. Yes, the plot unfolds in

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